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Personal Response To The Call Of The Wild

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My Personal Response to The Call of the Wild

The novel The Call of the Wild tells a story about how Buck, a domesdicated dog in the "sun-kissed" Santa Clara, managed to survive in the wilds of Klondike. Jack London conveyed many of his own ideas about living in this novel by telling readers what Buck went through to adjust to the harsh realities of life in the frosty North, where survival was the only imprerative.

Throughout Buck's adjustment there were several turning-points which forced him to understand better of the rules of the wild world. The first one was Curly's death. When Buck first arrived in the north, he watched a friendly dog named Curly brutally killed by a group of vicious sled dogs, only because of her trying to make friends with one of them. The tragic passing of Curly not only left Buck in a shock of the wolf manner of fighting, but also symbolized his departure from the old, comfortable life of a pet in a warm climate and his entrance into a new world where the only law was "the law of club and fang".

However, Curly's death was only a beginning of the life-and-death battles serving as markers of Buck's gradual integration into his new environment. When Curly was killed, Buck recognized that he was in a world where it was to kill or to be killed, where power was truly the power over life and death. So once Spitz,the lead dog of the pack, feared his's power, Buck realized that he must exert it in order to survive. All of the dogs either have power,and must exert it on order to survive, or they give up their power to a bigger and stronger dog and can merely hope that that dog will protect them.Buck's instinct deterred him from the latter choice. His appearance of the power must lead to the assertion of his power. The only other option for him was death. So Buck exerted his power to defeat Spitz and became the ruler of the pack.

Speaking of instinct, there came another turning-point of Buck's life. When Buck led the team into John Thornton's camp, he did not conciously know why he did not get up. He only had a vague feeling of impending doom, and this feeling saved his life when the overburdened sled fell through the ice along with its owners.

The last of Buck's turning-points was his attack on the Yeehats. In the closing chapters of the novel, Buck felt the call of life in the wild drawing him away from mankind, away from campfires and towns, and into the forest. The only thing that prevented him from going,that kept him tied to the world of men, was his love for John Thornton. When the Yeehat Indians killed Thornton, Buck's last tie to humanity was cut, and he became free to attack the Yeehats. To attack a human being would once have been unthinkable for Buck, and his willingness to do so now symbolized the fact that his transformation was complete, that he had truly embraced his wild nature.

There was one theme that London kept coming back to from the beginning to the end of the book, that is Charles Darwin's theory of "survival of the fittest". It is quite obvious that London associated much of Buck's survival in the cruel, uncaring world to his instincts,which were something he inherited from his ancestors. The novel suggests that Buck's success in the frozen North was not merely a matter of learning the ways of the wild but rather recovering the primitive instincts and memories that his ancestors possessed. He survived because he was genetically more suited to that environment than many of the other dogs who were there.

It is very true, I should say, that it was Buck's instinct which made him the fittest survivor in the wild of Klondike. Actually, not only animal instincts are mentioned in the book,but also human instincts. Once having shaken off the trappings of civilization, men like Francois, Perrault and John Thornton had a better access to their instincts. Consiquently, they managed to go through multiple dangerous incidents. In contrast,



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